University of Fribourg
|University of Fribourg|
|Université de Fribourg
|Latin: Universitas Friburgensis|
|Motto||Scientia et Sapientia ("Knowledge and Wisdom")|
|Rector||Prof. Guido Vergauen|
|Admin. staff||academic 1'150, admin 750|
|Location||Fribourg, Canton of Fribourg, Switzerland
|Affiliations||BeNeFri; Compostela Group of Universities|
The roots of the University can be traced back to 1582, when the notable Jesuit Peter Canisius founded the Collège Saint-Michel in the City of Fribourg. In 1763, an Academy of law was founded by the state of Fribourg which formed the nucleus of the present Law Faculty. The University of Fribourg was finally created in 1889 by an Act of the parliament of the Swiss Canton of Fribourg.
Located directly at the language border between the French and German speaking parts of Switzerland, the University of Fribourg is Switzerland’s only bilingual university and offers full curricula in those two Swiss national languages. Students also have the possibility to choose a bilingual curriculum in both French and German and some programmes are taught in English. Traditionally, the university also attracts a strong contingent of students from the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland as well as many students from abroad. Students number about 10,000, there are about 240 tenured professors and 700 other academic teaching and research personnel. The Misericorde Campus, constructed between 1939–42, was designed by the architects Honegger and Dumas, students of the famous Swiss architect Le Corbusier and as such is deemed to be of major architectural importance. A second Campus for the sciences departments and laboratories was gradually developed in the “Pérolles” part of Fribourg during the 20th century. To accommodate a doubling of student numbers since 1980, a new, additional Campus complex “Pérolles 2”, designed by Büro B Architects, was inaugurated in 2005.
- 1 History
- 2 Recent developments
- 3 Campuses
- 4 Faculties
- 5 Traditions
- 6 Student life
- 7 Branding
- 8 Notable alumni and faculty
- 9 Notes and references
- 10 See also
- 11 External links
The University owes its earliest origin to the foundation of the Jesuit College St. Michel on Belze Hill by Peter Canisius in 1582 at the invitation of the government of Fribourg. The question of Catholic higher education came to the fore with the development of the Protestant academies at Geneva, Lausanne and Basle. In 1763, an Academy of Law was founded, housed in the Albertinium (now a Dominican residence). In 1834, the cantonal library was formed from works brought to Fribourg (from Catholic monasteries) for safekeeping. The College St. Michel was closed following the expulsion of the Jesuits from Fribourg after the canton's defeat in the Sonderbund war.
In 1886, Georges Python, founder of the cantonal bank and State Counsellor for Fribourg (M.P. in the upper house of the Swiss parliament) became Director of Public Education. He raised funds through a lottery and was granted some 2,500,000 CHF by the canton. One of the conditions was that he should delay the construction of the university buildings and lectures took place in the buildings of St. Michel. The cantonal library became integrated with that of the university and the Academy became the Faculty of Law. Benito Mussolini worked as a stonemason on the Bibliothèque Cantonale et universitaire (BCU) centrale, the central library of the university. The Dominicans managed the theological faculty, due to an agreement with the canton of Fribourg. The buildings of St. Michel eventually became too crowded and in 1939 the university moved to a new campus constructed on the former cemetery of Misericorde, ceding St. Michel to one of Fribourg's gymnasia, which took the name College St. Michel. During the Second World War, the University set up "university camps" along with the University of Zürich to educate Polish prisoners of war.
The Perolles campus was constructed on the site of a former wagon factory.
Although many lectures were originally in Latin, Fribourg is now the only French/German bilingual university in the world (45% French and 55% German).The town itself is 70% French and 30% German. This fact, coupled with the traditional dominance of French as the language of the city aristocracy explains why French has remained so dominant in university administration and in the AGEF (Association Generale des Etudiants Fribourgois), the Student's Union. To commemorate the centerary of the University La Poste issued a stamp depicting the figures Science and Sagesse.
In 2005, the university inaugurated its Perolles 2 campus, to which the Faculty of Economics and Social Science relocated. Plans are underway to commence construction of a Museum for Biblical Antiquities, which will be housed in the Tower of Henry IV once it is renovated. The university has the third largest collection of Biblical antiquities in the world after the British Museum and the Cairo Museum. Fribourg has also developed FriMat, a centre of excellence in nanotechnology. As part of the BeNeFri association comprising the Universities of Berne, Neuchâtel and Fribourg, students at any one of these universities may take courses at another in the association and still receive credit at their home institution. The academic degrees were the Demi-Licence, Licence, DEA / DESS, Doctorate. The university now follows the requirements of the Bologna process. The University of Fribourg launched for the 2009–2010 academic year a new postgraduate law programme, the "Master of Laws in Cross-Cultural Business Practice" (MLCBP), an LL.M taught entirely in English.
Fribourg has no central campus and its buildings are located throughout the city. The main sites are:
- Misericorde - Humanities and central administration (including the famous Senate room)
- Perolles - Science
- Perolles 2 - Economics & Social Sciences
- Regina Mundi - Psychology
- BCU centrale - Main Library
- Pierre Aeby - Department of Classical Philology
- Bonnesfontaines - Pedagogy
- Stade St. Leonard - University Stadium
The Fribourg University is divided in five faculties:
- The Faculty of Humanities is the largest faculty with about 4,000 students. They follow courses and seminars in the fields of philosophy, historical sciences, languages, literature, education, psychology or social sciences.
- The Faculty of Law has about 1,900 students. The program includes national and international law; both subjects areas can be followed bilingual.
- The Faculty of Theology is the largest and the most international of Switzerland, and, with Lucerne, it is the only state university in Switzerland to have a Faculty of Catholic Theology.
- Approximately 1,900 students are enrolled in one of the four Bachelor programmes and one of the seven Master programmes of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences. The faculty is composed of four departments: business management, economics, computer science, media and communication. In addition, the international institute of management in technology (iimt) and the Verbandsmanagement Institute (VMI) are attached to the Faculty.
- The Faculty of Science was founded in 1896 and has seven departments: biology, chemistry, geosciences, computer science, mathematics, medicine and physics. The Faculty is composed of 14 fields: biochemistry, biology, chemistry, geography, computer science, human medicine and dentistry (Bachelor), mathematics, neuroscience, pharmacy, physics, biomedical sciences, environmental sciences, earth sciences (geology) and sport.
- Dies Academicus - On this day in November every year, no lectures are held. Festivities begin with Mass in the Chapel of the Collège St. Michel. The members of the University then proceed to the Aula Magna (Great Hall) in solemn procession. After an address by the rector and a prominent guest speaker, honorary degrees are awarded. The student guilds attend in ceremonial dress including swords.
- Corporations - These are similar to the Studentenverbindungen in Germany and Austria, but there is no de facto constraint to participate as it is in the student nations at the universities of Uppsala, Lund and Helsinki. They maintain Central European student traditions and meet at least once a week around a Stammtisch ("regular's table") in order to socialise, drink and sing together. They tend to be organised on linguistic lines. One of them is still engaged in dueling, while the other Corporations in Fribourg already rejected this tradition at the time they were founded, amongst others for religious reasons. Membership has often been considered advantageous for those wishing to pursue a career in business, politics or law. Most of Fribourg's student corporations belong to the formerly catholic Schweizerischer Studentenverein. An example is AV Fryburgia.
- The Day of Welcomes (Jour D'Accueil) - Similar to Fresher's Week in Anglophonic Universities. New students are invited to the Aula Magna, where they are welcomed to Fribourg by the Rector and the Syndic (Mayor of the City of Fribourg). This is followed by a meal in the university Mensa provided by the city, where new students are expected to dine with the rest of the Faculty to which they have been admitted.
- Every year, the Catholic Church holds collections during masses throughout Switzerland. Known as Fribourg Sunday, the funds raised are mainly used to award scholarships to foreign priests by the Faculty of Theology.
The main sports at the University are skiing, fencing, ice hockey, football, and basketball. In common with many Swiss universities, Fribourg does not have its own halls of residence. A minority of students live in foyers often run by religious organisations (though the University aids with some of the construction costs), but most rent places of their own, a common practice in Switzerland. Two of the main foyers at Fribourg are Cité St. Justin and the Salesianum. There is also a student housing cooperative known as APARTIS.
Primary degrees used to last for five or five and a half years, culminating in a Lizenziat (equivalent to a Master's degree), although with the introduction of the Bologna reforms, the University awards a BA after three years and an MA after a further two years. Students are issued with a tabella, a book in which they record all the lectures which they have attended, and which the professors sign.
The University Seal depicts a Cross and Bishop's ring representing the University's Catholic ethos on a shield of black and white, representing the canton of Fribourg. The logo of the Université is a blue stylized "F" (with triangles echoing the facade structure of the Miséricorde Building and symbolizing the Alps) and the name of the University in Latin.
Notable alumni and faculty
Writers and Academics
- Maurice Zermatten, writer, winner of the Schiller International Prize
- Léon Savary, writer and journalist.
- Tariq Ramadan, philosopher and Islamic scholar
- Michel Plancherel, mathematician
- Albert Gockel, physicist, a graduate of Heidelberg but a Professor of Fribourg, involved in the discovery of cosmic radiation
- Gonzague de Reynold, writer and academic, author of Cités et pays suisse
- Mary Daly, feminist theologian and advocate of parthenogenesis
- Emmanuel Levinas, philosopher
- Thierry Madies, economic advisor to French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin
- Philippe Gugler, president, European International Business Academy
- Peter Trudgill, British sociolinguist and dialectologist
- Jerome Murphy-O'Connor Professor of New Testament at the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem
- Jean Zermatten, academic and Chair of U.N. Commission on the Rights of the Child.
- Luc E. Weber, Rector Emeritus of the University of Geneva
- Werner Ulrich, Swiss social scientist and practical philosopher, one of the originators of "critical systems thinking" (CST).
- Hans Wolfgang Brachinger, German mathematician and econometrician
- Patrick Aebischer, the current president of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
- Caroline Jaden Stussi, Screenplay Writer and Actress
- Pietro Balestra, Swiss economist specializing in econometrics
- Reiner Eichenberger, Chair of the Center for Public Finance at the University of Fribourg
- Hugo Obermaier, prehistorian and anthropologist
- Wilhelm Schmidt (linguist), Austrian linguist, anthropologist, and ethnologist.
- Peter Thullen, mathematician.
- Winfried Sebald, German writer
- Vincas Mykolaitis, Lithuanian poet and writer
- Cardinal Georges Cottier, official theologian to the Papal Household (under John Paul II), Secretary of the International Theological Commission
- Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna
- Cardinal Franciszek Macharski, former Archbishop of Cracow
- Cardinal Angelo Scola, Patriarch of Venice
- Cardinal Basil Hume, former Archbishop of Westminster
- Cardinal Henri Schwery, Bishop of Sion
- Cardinal Michael Browne O.P., Master General of the Order of Preachers
- Cardinal Gilberto Agustoni, Prefect Emeritus of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature
- Cardinal Gaspard Mermillod, attended the Jesuit Seminary that was the forerunner of the University, Cardinal Beer takes its name from him.
- Cardinal Aloisius Joseph Muench, Bishop of Fargo, North Dakota
- Prince Max von Sachsen, Bishop, Prince of Saxony and son of King George of Saxony and Donna Maria Anna, the Infanta of Portugal
- Bernard Genoud, Bishop of Geneva, Lausanne and Fribourg
- Dom Henry Wansbrough OSB
- Cardinal Clemens August Graf von Galen
- Rupert Mayer Blessed, Jesuit critic of the Nationalist Socialist Regime
- Giuseppe Motta, Federal Chancellor (Swiss Cabinet member) 1911-40 (President of Switzerland 1915, '20, '27, '32, '37), President of the League of Nations 1924-25
- Joseph Deiss, Federal Chancellor 1999-2006, President of Switzerland 2004, President of the United Nations General Assembly 2010-11
- Ruth Metzler, Federal Chancellor, Member of the Swiss Federal Council 1999-2003
- Chaim Weizmann, First President of Israel
- Juan Carlos I, King of Spain
- Albert Pintat, head of the government of Andorra
- Giuseppe Lepori, Federal Chancellor and Consigliere del popolo (M.P.) for Ticino
- Ignacy Mościcki, President of Poland 1926-1939
- Bill Press, U.S. political commentator and former Chairman of the Democratic Party of California
- Corina Casanova, Federal Chancellor of Switzerland 2008–Present
- Flavio Cotti, President of the Swiss Confederation 1991, 1998
- Enrico Celio, President of the Swiss Confederation 1943, 1948
- Kurt Furgler, President of the Swiss Confederation 1977, 1981 and 1985
- Ludwig von Moos, President of the Swiss Confederation 1964, 1969
- Hans Hürlimann, President of the Swiss Confederation 1979
- Arnold Koller, President of the Swiss Confederation 1990, 1997
- Simonetta Sommaruga, Member of the Swiss Federal Council 2010–Present
- Martine Brunschwig Graf, Swiss politician, member of the Swiss National Council
- Richard Thomas "Dick" McCormack, US Ambassador to the Organization of American States 1985-1989, US Under Secretary of State for Economic and Agricultural Affairs 1989-1991
- Otmar Hasler, Prime Minister of Liechtenstein 2001-09
- Gerard Batliner, former Head of Government (Regierungschef) of Liechtenstein (1962–1970)
- Elijah Malok Aleng,Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sudan and President of othe Bank of Southern Sudan(BOSS) (2005–2011)
- Joseph Bech, Luxembourgian politician and 15th Prime Minister of Luxembourg
- Jean-Marie Musy, Federal Chancellor, Member of the Swiss Federal Council
- Heinrich Burk, former CEO of ACNielsen
- Klaus Martin Schwab, German economist, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum
- Adolphe Merkle, founder of Vibro-Meter International AG, Adolphe Merkle Foundation
- Urs Felber, Swiss industrialist, philanthropist and design pioneer.
- Albert M. Baehny, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Geberit Group since January 1, 2005
- Jean-Marie Ayer, co-founder of Dartfish, Chairman and CEO 1999-2003.
- Arthur Dunkel (August 26, 1932 - June 8, 2005) was a Swiss (Portuguese-born) administrator and a professor at the University of Fribourg. He served as director-general of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade between 1980 and 1993.
- Marc Moret, former Chairman of Sandoz, uncle of Daniel Vasella's wife
- Mario Botta, Founder of the Academy of Architecture at Mendrisio (Honoris Causa)
- Antonin Gregory Scalia, U.S. Justice
- Giusep Nay, president of the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland 2005-2006, 1988–2006
- Alois Pfister, member of the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland
- Luzius Wildhaber Swiss judge and first President of the European Court of Human Rights
- Miguel San Juan, Mister Switzerland 2006
- Christa Rigozzi, Miss Switzerland 2006-2007
- Andrea Jansen, Moderatorin beim Schweizer Fernsehen
- Three of the members of the medieval ensemble Freiburger Spielleyt are graduates of the University's early music program
- Prof. Paul Cantonneau, modelled on Georges Python, is a Professor at Fribourg in one of the Tintin comics.
Notes and references
- List of largest universities by enrollment in Switzerland
- List of modern universities in Europe (1801–1945)
- List of universities in Switzerland
- Education in Switzerland
- Bible and Orient Museum
- Science and technology in Switzerland
- List of colleges and universities by country
- List of colleges and universities
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